Who owns the product?

Daniel Attas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


If persons fully own themselves and can acquire, by unilateral acts, unconditional full property rights to premousty unowned natural resources, then by these same principles of property they also own the products of their property and of their labour. But (a) the principles of property are silent on the question of the division of joint products; (b) the market is a form of co-operation in production which makes the total social product a joint product. In the circumstances of an unrestrained fully developed market, therefore, it is not fully determinate what one's product is. Thus the holdings that each person ends up with cannot be justified merely in terms of ownership of products. I offer an explanation of why some may resist this mew of the market.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)537-556
Number of pages20
JournalPhilosophical Quarterly
Issue number217
StatePublished - 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
15 I would like to thank Jerry Cohen, Avner de-Shalit, Nir Eyal, Jim Griffin, David Heyd, Christopher Lake, David Miller, Saul Smilansky, Hillel Steiner, Peter Vallentyne and Jo Wolff for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper. Research for this paper has benefited from the financial assistance of the Recanati Foundation.


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